I still thought about M alllllll the time, but I forced myself not to message him and I'm proud to say I didn't. I think it's pretty important to respect what he had asked of me.
On the Tuesday night of reading week I got a message from a friend of mine, Greg. Greg and I were best friends during most of university, but the summer before I went travelling and ultimately met M, Greg told me he was in love with me. I told him he was in love with the idea of being in love with his best friend, but that he wasn't really in love with me. Greg had only ever had relationships that started in a club with a hook up and were kind of messy the whole way through. He's cheated on every girlfriend he's ever had and he has told me on occasions he intends to get married at least twice... Boyfriend material? I think not. But best friend material? Absolutely. Greg is super fun. We like the same things. He always makes me laugh. I indulge him in conversations that no one else will because they think he's nuts, which he is of course, but it's all part of his charm. It works for him. And he takes good care of friends; he would move mountains for them without even being asked to.
We met because we were neighbors in first year university. There was a brief flirtation, but it never amounted to anything. I started dating someone else (the neighbor on the other side - oh boy!) and he started his recurring weird club hook up patterns. But we still hung out, watched movies, talked for hours, studied together, and just had fun! Throughout the first three years of university it pretty much went on like this. Then we drifted a bit, he moved further, we had opposite schedules... but any time we saw each other it was always like we'd never been apart.
Once I started dating M things got difficult. Greg really didn't like M. M didn't like the drama that Greg could cause, and eventually I was forced to pick who I wanted to spend my time with. Obviously, M won - it was never even a contest in my mind.
Back to the Tuesday night, Greg said that he was sitting in the airport on his way to Budapest for the week by himself to deal with some family stuff and he thought I should get on a plane and come meet him. Greg's mom had lived in Budapest for the majority of his life. His parents were divorced and his mother had passed away about a year ago. She left everything to him and he needed to go and deal with final bank transfers and land titles and what not.
At first I thought he was nuts, and then I thought a little more. The more I thought about it, the better of an idea it seemed to be. I was off school for a week. I wanted to travel around Europe while I was in London. It was a free place to stay in Hungary, which was not a place I probably would have thought to go to. It was a new experience. I could work from there... What was the point of living in Europe if I didn't have some fun with it?
Now, I won't pretend I am entirely naive and innocent in this situation. I clearly knew that if I went something would happen. If you want the honest truth, which is massively embarrassing to put down in writing, I was terrified at the idea of being with someone other than M. It had been 3 and a half years. I was used to M, it was amazing with M, M knew my body and I knew his, and it was comfortable in a not-lazy-sort-of-way. But, at some point I was going to hook up with someone else and Greg seemed like a really good place to start. I knew how Greg felt about me and I also knew that some of those feelings were still lingering - he would be very honest about that whenever he saw me. So, as nervous as I was, I bought a ticket for Thursday departure and Sunday return.
Greg was adorable. He sent me an itinerary of what we should do, and instructions about what taxis to take and which not to take, exchange rates, languages, weather, and everything else under the sun. He messaged me to make sure I wouldn't miss my flight on Thursday. He was just really thoughtful.
I was still nervous. I had two glasses of wine on the airplane.
Once I landed I exchanged some money and hoped into a cab. Greg was waiting for me at his place. He gave me a quick tour and, to my large relief, showed me my room with my own bed. I dropped my stuff and we decided to head out for dinner.
We went to a local restaurant. The food was amazing, like really amazing!!! And of course there was wine. We talked about everything. We started with a big catch up about our lives in general. He was telling me about his grad school that he's almost done, and I told him all about London and my old job. Things snapped back to exactly how they were 5 years ago when we were closest. We laughed a lot. We talked about his mom a bit. We talked about my family too. By the end of dinner the bottle of wine was gone.
We headed back to his place, where we continued to drink. At the end of next bottle of wine the topic of M finally came up.